WASHINGTON, August 30, 2017 - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe does not support the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program). In a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the governor addressed his primary concern with the program. McAuliffe’s response to BOEM’s Request for Information (RFI) pointed to President Trump’s proposed repeal of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which allows revenue sharing with Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“This is a clear indication that any new revenue-sharing arrangement between additional states is as unlikely as ever and is a non-starter with the current administration,” McAuliffe wrote. “The Commonwealth cannot be beholden to the reckless actions of a federal government that refuses to acknowledge the legitimate and necessary role states play in driving the national economy. This concern is heightened where President Trump’s proposed budget also includes cuts to the very agencies that are responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory safeguards and environmental protections."
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Virginia Petroleum Council each wrote letters to BOEM in support of the five-year plan. In response to the governor’s opposition, Virginia Petroleum Council Executive Director Miles Morin urged McAuliffe to consider the long-term benefits for his constituents.
“As the Governor has previously stated, safe and responsible energy development off the coast of Virginia would bring millions, and potentially hundreds of millions, of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs to the Commonwealth. We support necessary environmental protections and state revenue sharing from energy development, and stand ready to work with Gov. McAuliffe and the Virginia congressional delegation to make safe offshore development a reality for Virginia consumers and workers through the next five-year plan,” Morin said.
The comment period for the 2019-2024 National OCS Program ended Aug. 17.
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